Sprezzature. Played by Harry Sparnaay .

Sprezzature. Played by Harry Sparnaay .


Sprezzatura (1985) is composed for and dedicated to the bassclarinetplayer Harry Sparnaay.

Sprezzatura (as defined by Baldassare Castiglione in Il Cortegiano, Firenze 1528) means: perfect manners combined with ease and naturalness of bearing (indicative of the courtier's disdain or lack of anxiety to prove his good breading); (in general) studied carelessness. In: Reynolds, Barbare, Cambridge Italian Dictionary, pag 774.

My aim composing this piece was to create a very simple relaxed sounding polyfonic line, using a very difficult virtuoso technique. By using uncommon grips one can hear all kinds of overtones . One can focus on one overtone by using embouchure which is a very demanding technique. One can compare the effect with the "clair-obscur" in the visual arts.

A painter paints in very thin layers on top of each other in such a way that the ultimate upper layer is been influenced by all the underlayers. In Sprezzatura one hears a bassline in a fast movement, vague overtones in between and topovertones forming the main melodic line, which cannot exist without the underlaying lines which brings the old idea of a "cantus firmus" in mind.